Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: My Kitchen Gadget Must Haves.....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Kitchen Gadget Must Haves.....

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 Many of you lovely readers have emailed me, asking me for my kitchen must have list. Some are newly engaged, making up a wedding registry and some are into other seasons of life. No matter the season, these are some kitchen gadgets which have and are continuing to help me along the way. Below are my favorite, must have kitchen gadgets. Enjoy!

1-KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer - this has seriously been the best kitchen gadget I have ever been given. I received this little baby as a Christmas present, a few years back. I use this thing like everyday. I make bread, cookies, cakes, meatloaf, etc. It is a super mixer. It does have a hefty price tag, but it is an investment in your cooking/baking future.

2-Breadmaker- Oh my goodness! You know how I feel about bread makers. They rock! They offer convenience and goodness all in a little package. These are great to find at thrift stores. I can usually always find one or two at my local thrift stores. These are also great to put on gift/wedding registries. It is something that is going to last and as your family grows your skills will grow as well. I also recommend The New Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook. It is my bible when it comes to bread machine recipes.

3-Plate Dinning Set- When we were getting married I thought our whole house would be in blue and white. I wanted to do an Americana theme. Well that lasted all of five minutes. I ended up getting blue plates for a wedding present. If you know me or have followed my blog for a while, then you know my house is in brick red and sage green. I have no clue what I was thinking with those blue plates. I was a newbie...what can I say. I strongly recommend getting a simple white plate set to begin. Your tastes are going to change over time. I now have white plates and cups, which means my taste can change and my plates will continue to match. I would also look for a set where you can get the most for your money. Try to find a set that includes mugs, plates, and bowls.

4-Crock Pot- When hubby and I first were married, we would have starved if it was not for the crock-pot. I was given 101 Things to Do with a Slow Cooker along with my crock-pot, which I am so thankful for. My crock-pot basically introduced me to the world of cooking. Remember I had no clue how to cook when I got married:) I still have the very same crock-pot I received as a wedding gift. When that one dies retires I want to replace it with the damask beauty above. That crock-pot is so cute, I think I would leave it out just so I could admire it. For reals though, I still use my crock-pot a few times a week. It saves me time, sanity, and money!

5-Nutri Bullet- This one is more of a recent buy, but I wish I had it back then....You know err...10 years ago...cough cough. I use our Nutri Bullet for making purees (or you could do baby food when those littles come around), pasta sauce, smoothies, flour (yes it can grind up wheat berries into flour), etc. It is an amazing kitchen  gadget. I use ours almost everyday.
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6-Hamilton Beach Blender- Even though I have my Nurti Bullet, I still use my blender. We use it for smoothies, milkshakes, slushes, etc. It is a Kitchen gadget staple.

7-KitchenAid Aluminum Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set - Remember how I said I was a newbie when I made my wedding registry? Well I choose the generic pans, which have held up okay. They are definitely on their last leg though. My sisterinlaw was not such a newbie and was able to snag some KitchenAid pots and pans. I can say after 9 years, hers have held up much better than mine. Whatever brand you buy, you definitely want a set. I use my pots and pan everyday and you want a set that will stand up to the heat in the kitchen. Oh and having them in a fun color doesn't hurt either:)

8-Presto  Electric Griddle- Remember I said I have an obsession with pancakes? Well this little baby has only aided in my obsession. A griddle is such a great buy and it doesn't cost very much. I use it for pancakes, eggs, black bean burgers, etc. I received mine a few years after we got married. Hubby even got me one that was dishwasher safe. He knew how much I loathed washing dishes. Little did I know years later I would live in a home without a dishwasher. Oh the stories I could tell my 20 year old self. I would make her jaw drop in astonishment. --insert me giggling to myself--

9- 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet- My motherinlaw is a big supporter of cast iron skillets. I honestly think that is all the woman cooks with. She does eggs, meats, potatoes, basically the whole enchilada. While living with her, I also grew in my love for skillet cooking, especially diced potatoes cooked in a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet. Mmmm...It is good stuff people. I still have that same skillet today. Cast Iron is meant to last and is in it for the long haul. Definitely a must have if you like skillet I do.

10-EZ Baker Nine Piece Bakeware Set - I received a baking set for a wedding gift and I still use it today. Some pieces have needed to be replaced, but for the most part it is still going strong. It was a great way for me to start out in my baking journey. I also received like 10 baking pans at my wedding. No joke folks. The cutest gift we got was from the Clark family. They gave us a baking pan with Betty Crocker mix. It was a fun first date night, baking and munching together as husband and wife.
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12-Presto 01362 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker- I can not forget my precious pressure cooker. We have only recently become friends, but it is a friendship made to last. I am kind of bummed my 20 year old self had no clue that pressure cookers even existed. Sad I know! I have a 6-quart pressure cooker, which hubby gave me for Christmas. I cook veggies, stews, soups, meat, everything! Oh and did I mention it cooks ten times faster than baking or regular stove top cooking. It rocks! Blissful and Domestic even has a how to section with recipes, so if you do get one I can help you out with the how to use it part:)

13-Block Knife Set- I love having all my knifes in a block. It makes them easy to find and I know all my cutting needs are covered.

14- Canning Kit - Whether you know how to can now or are planning to start, a canning kit is a great investment in your families future. I learned how to can last year and our shopping dramatically changed. I now make our own jams, jellies, canned fruits and veggies, and pie fillings. Because I learned how to can, we were able to stop buying store-bought processed foods. I use the Jarden Home Brands 21400 Ball Blue Book. It is a great how to book, where canning is concerned.

15- Mason jars - I love me some mason jars. Whether you are using them as glasses, food storage, spice storage, canning, vases, etc. They look cool and they are super functional. So many uses!

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16- Rice Cooker -Once upon a time, I was a minute rice type of gal. I even use to have a special bowl that went in the microwave to make minute rice. I had tried and tried to make it on the stove, but it always came out hard and crunchy....that was until I found my first rice cooker at a thrift store for $7. Once I tried out the rice cooker, I entered a whole new world of cooking rice. For the first time it actually came out the way it was suppose to. Who knew I could actually make rice! It was awesome. I am still using that same thrift store rice cooker. It has served me well over the past years and is still going strong.

17- Colander - it strains....enough said. You always need one:)

18- Toaster - bagels, toast, whatever it is you want toasted this little gadget will do it for you. We are still using our black toaster we received for a wedding present 10 years ago. We use it, we love it, easy peasy.

19- Waffle Maker - We use it for waffles and corn bread. Yes I said cornbread. Make your cornbread batter and cook it in the waffle maker. Perfect for chili with cornbread waffles, plus it cooks your cornbread so dang fast. Great when you need dinner in a fix.

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20- Soft Pretzel Maker - I received this little baby for Christmas this year. My Mom had actually bought one for my brother, but when I saw it I may have hinted that I would love one as well. Christmas morning "Santa" happened to have got the memo. My brother and I have both been enjoying making nice, crispy, chewy pretzels with this handy little helper.

21- Utensil Holder Set - I love sets, since you get a lot more for your money. I also love fun holders to put your utensils in. I have mine right near the stove, so it is always ready for me to grab a spoon or spatula and begin cooking.

22- Quesadilla Maker - When hubby and I were first married, we went through a quesdilla phase. I mean we were real serious about our quesadillas. We had them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...and we experimented with all kinds of goodness inside.....Good times folks....good times. We still have our maker and will occasionally whip up some tortilla goodness, when the moment strikes. Nothing makes a perfectly, crispy quesadilla like this handy gadget.

23- Measurement cups and spoons - you need them and plenty of them. They are nice little helpers where baking and cooking is concerned.

So there you have it. All my favorite kitchen goodies in one handy post. I always shop thrift stores first. I just can't pay full price for something when I know I could most likely find it second hand. Many of these items took me a while to acquire. Some I received as wedding gifts, some were birthday or Christmas gifts, and some I waited for. I searched thrift stores until I was able to find one. This is the best way to fully equip your kitchen on a budget. It may take time, but there is such a sense of satisfaction knowing you are living within your means, while creating a kitchen arsenal that will help you create healthy goodies for your family. Hope this helps all you lovely ladies and gents out there:)

Have a great day lovelies!

XO Danielle


  1. I love Kitchen Gadgets. Kitchen Aid Mixer is at the top of my list too. I use it all the time and I love all the attachments!
    A new Kitchen Gadget that I got this year was an Electric Pressure Cooker and I use that every week. It has been great :)

  2. I agree! My KitchenAid was a wedding present and has lasted the past 13 years with only a couple of paddle replacements. I never really considered getting a rice cooker, but I think I'm going to put it on my yard sale scouting list. Thanks.

  3. Love your list! I find the older I get the less "gadgets" I utilize. I do need my mixers, one Kitchen Aid, one Bosch and I have a Nutrimill Grinder. The bread machine I use occasionally. I have one cast iron skillet, no griddles . I found a few years back this recipe how to make rice--it is perfect every time!!! Rinse one cup of rice then add to a saucepan with 1.5 cups water. On stove heat until boiling, once boiling put the lid on and turn to low-#2. When little craters form on top of rice it is done. Usually 15 min or so. I have to say I love my Vitamix blender. Buy one never buy another!

  4. My favorite bread machine cookbook is Beth Hensperger's Bread Lovers Machine Cookbook. I rarely bake in the machine, but I'll use it to knead my dough, remove the dough, shape it, and then bake in the oven.

    This is one awesome book.

  5. GREAT list!! I only have a handful of those things, so you gave me some great ideas of what I can add slowly to my collection. I'm thinking first up needs to be the bread machine ;)

  6. I just got my Kitchen Aid, and so far I've only used it to mix dough, but it was a lifesaver! Next on my list is a breadmaker. I'll be on the hunt this garage sale season!

    Quick question--What kitchen gadgets do you find to be a waste of space? I got a great deal on a quesadilla maker a few years ago. I had it for one year and used it just once! I found it was much easier to make them on the stove. I sold it the next year at my garage sale. I also have a mini cupcake maker I got on clearance but have never used (it's been two years). I just can't part with it though! I will find use for it this summer!

    1. I use to have a baby cake maker, but found it just took up space. That is I ended up giving away, since I never used it. I do have a juicer, but also I don't use it very often. I have been debating selling it at a yard sale or something. I think it really depends on how you cook. Everyone's family is so different.

  7. I love my kitchen aid! and I would love to have a waffle iron. Be sure to hop on over to Lynn and Lou for a wonderful Giveaway!
    xx. McKenna Lou

  8. That's so funny! I'm going through a quesadilla phase at the moment. When I don't feel like actually cooking, I just make a quesadilla! My boyfriend thinks I'm insane.

  9. Thank you for such a detailed list! We are living together for 1.5 year and we got quite some of the things, but the problem is that we mostly got low quality things, like 20 euro blender that has problems even with bananas and toaster without on/off button (just a cable). We are planning to replace things that we use a lot with the better ones, one at a time

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  11. One gadget that gets used daily in my house is the toaster oven. It not only toasts bread but also bakes and reheats, using less electricity than the oven. My top #1 gadget in the kitchen is the slow cooker, hands down. Whoever invented it has my eternal gratitude.

    1. I agree. We don't need a toaster because you can make everything in the toaster oven. We wam up pizza and frozen waffles, make quesadillas and anything you might warm up in a microwave.

  12. Great list--use alot of those same items myself----But--What happened to #11 on your list?????????????

    1. haha! Thats funny. I totally didn't even notice:> Yes I forgot 11. Obviously I was forgetting how to count last night when I did this post:>

  13. I absolutely love the slow cooker,especially during the summer time when it's way too hot to turn the over on. However, the only problem I keep coming across, is that with recipes for the slow cooker, they're so fattening and have way too much sodium because they always use things such a canned soup. I desperately try to steer clear of those recipes.

  14. Al though I like your list, I think most of them would not be called gadgets. You seem to have a lot of small appliances and cookware. I really enjoy gadgets so I was looking forward to your list. Perhaps they will be in another blog.

    1. For me these are gadgets. They are the things I use everyday to make my life a little easier in the kitchen. What kind of gadgets do you use? I love learning what others use;)

  15. Great list! After 27 years of homemaking I swear by my Kitchenaid Mix, good knives, a crock pot, basic white dishes and 5 super, duper quality pans as my go to pieces. I don't have a rice cooker but you have me considering it now! lol Have a great weekend.

  16. Wow...that's a lot of gadgets and stuff, especially on such a tight budget ;) You're very fortunate to have such great friends and relatives to have gotten all those great gifts. We, too, have a tight budget, so we have a lot less gadgets in the kitchen. Most of them are luxuries :) Have a great day.

    1. I think it is important to remember I accumulated these over a 10 year period. Doing it this way I was able to get these goodies on my tight budget;)

  17. I wish I had this article when I was making my wedding registry last year! I had a pretty well equipped kitchen already because my husband and I had acquired a lot before we met and in the first two years living together, but there were a few things I could have added. I was given a KitchenAid as a shower gift and from the posts I've seen it's going to last me FOREVER. I collected the brands my mom cooks with while I was in high school and college, Pyrex, Farberware, Corningware, and KitchenAid. I know these will last a long time when taken care of. :) - now I'm going to check out your canning article. That may be this summer's learning experience!

  18. I wish I had this article when I was making my wedding registry last year! I had a pretty well equipped kitchen already because my husband and I had acquired a lot before we met and in the first two years living together, but there were a few things I could have added. I was given a KitchenAid as a shower gift and from the posts I've seen it's going to last me FOREVER. I collected the brands my mom cooks with while I was in high school and college, Pyrex, Farberware, Corningware, and KitchenAid. I know these will last a long time when taken care of. :) - now I'm going to check out your canning article. That may be this summer's learning experience!

  19. Thanks for the great list! I think I need to add the pressure cooker to my list. I'm intrigued by it and laughing that I gave one away as I was clueless to what it was!

  20. We love using the counter top George Foreman grill and highly recommend adding it (or something similar) to the list of must haves - especially if you live in an apartment or condo and love grilling but don't have the outdoor space to do so!


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